3.8/10
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12 user 15 critic

Quench (2007)

Photographed in the warm beauty of Midwestern Autumn, QUENCH tells the story of Derik, a young man grieving over the recent death of a loved one.

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Director: Zack Parker
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Derik
Benjamin Riley ...
Jason (as Ben Schmitt)
...
Gina
Samantha Eileen DeTurk ...
Veronica
...
Michael
...
Jane
...
Father (as Donald A. Becker)
Susan M. Martin ...
Mother
Dennis Crosswhite ...
Bartender
Jennifer Berkemeier ...
Waitress
Tai Hamilton ...
Attendant
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bettina Blum ...
Mom
James Griffith ...
Gothic blood drinker
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Storyline

Photographed in the warm beauty of Midwestern Autumn, QUENCH tells the story of Derik, a young man grieving over the recent death of a loved one.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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A Modern Gothic Tragedy.

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Drama

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Release Date:

31 October 2007 (USA)  »

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Budget:

$39,000 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
An indie film powerhouse...
19 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

Quench is the latest endeavor from indie film maverick Zack Parker, who helmed the low-budget horror romp with a clever twist, Inexchange. And for a sophomore effort, I'm damned impressed.

The tale follows Derik (Bo Barrett), who's returned home after a decent hiatus in order to deal with some looming issues resulting from a recent personal tragedy. He looks up his old friend Jason (Ben Schmitt), in the hopes of finding both a place to crash and a soul to confide in. But Jason's changed since last they spoke – now a part of a very abnormal and rather foreboding "family" (a cult-like gathering that enjoys trading bodily fluids on an extreme level… crazysexygoth blood-drinking orgies). Derik is vicariously tossed into this new world as he tries to cope with his demons and accept the newfound affection of one of the family's young hipsters, Gina (Mia Moretti).

The production value is stellar, especially for a low-budget HD venture. The cinematography is deft, and refreshingly honed, unlike a lot of indie films that try to hide their lack of budget through camera-work that constantly shakes and weaves (an effect that often is arguably anything but intentional). Parker keeps his frame focused, unafraid to highlight the mise-en-scene he's so carefully littered throughout each scene. The score bears an intensely atmospheric vibe – ominous, ethereal and delightfully resonant.

The performances are generally solid. Schmitt proves effective as a sort of oil-and-water counterpart to Derik, and Moretti walks a somewhat shaky balance between heartfelt and hollow (for me, in some scenes she seemed spot-on while in others her delivery was rather stiff – a decent performance overall). The other notable role, Veronica, is played with impressive vigor by Samantha Eileen DeTurk. But the MVP award definitely goes to Barrett – his portrayal of Derik is all at once a wounded, intense, somber and pathetic visage of utter deconstruction.

The main draw of the film, which elevates this modern indie tragedy above its peers, is Parker's astute direction. His scene execution, narrative comprehension, and visual bravado show meticulous control. Parker crafts his tale with a profound ambiguity, offering a refreshingly unique perspective to what one would easily assume to be a strict horror binge. His style carries subtle nuances of Kubrick, Polanski and Lynch (with a dash of giallo), as he steadily and methodically builds his dramatic tension to somewhat of a low-level maelstrom.

Quench is a wake-up call to independent filmmakers – a force to be reckoned with and a true Midwestern masterpiece that can only make one clamor with anticipation to see what Parker might accomplish on his next filmic go-around. A cult smash in the making, it's aces all the way – definitely worth seeking out.


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